Sunday, August 10, 2008

Courtyard at Beltsville Library...My volunteer project

Weeds were starting to grow back, leaves were cluttering the beds and pathways, and the big 'Heritage' birch (branches visible top right) was pulling all the water away from the shrubs and perennials. So on Saturday morning, I watered and weeded and blew the leaves. Obviously this is a pleasant space 30 odd feet wide and three times that long surrounded on three sides by the~12' walls of the building and on the fourth (north) by a low brick wall with an ungated opening.

We planted a few new plants, mostly natives, and removed some hosta that was burning in the sun. Three Schizachyrium scoparium went in at the points of the bed lobes to add a bit of organization in an amorphous planting. To the right of the first clump are three Liatris spicata 'Floristan violet', a selection of the native species. Violet flowers on narrowly vertical racemes will begin to open this week. The flowers will attract butterflies; the clustered vertical racemes will provide another needed structural element.

I couldn't help myself; I donated a good sized Musella lasiocarpa, Chinese Yellow Banana planted between the door and the windows at the far end of the garden. The leaves are a lovely bluish green; the flowers are yellow. It is hardy in this area and ought to do extremely well in this sheltered space. This is a very cool plant; not native but not invasive either. Gold sedum is clustered around the base of the banana.

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